The Diary of Archie the Alpaca

The Student Newspaper  
By: Holly Thomas
Photo: Courtesy of The Student Newspaper

Original content from The Student|Newspaper.  

Although it’s just past the festive season, The Diary of Archie the Alpaca is the perfect giftable pocket book for starting the New Year.

The petite ‘diary’, spanning January to December from the perspective of an amusing alpaca and his two cats, offers page-by-page literary treats for all: from haikus to profound one liners on the meaning of life. Although Kevin MacNeil refutes authorship, instead choosing to authenticate Archie’s narrative, his dulcet, moving voice nonetheless permeates even the simplest of statements.

Championing the core aspect of the haiku – which is the intent of sharing an immediate experience with a reader and thus opposing the typical reactionary poem – the diary presents many ideas on how to live mindfully in the moment.

Not a hint of pretentious unattainability can be associated with MacNeil’s partly philosophical writing; rather, the occasional life advice quotes are evenly balanced with parodies of profound thought which are wonderfully innocent in humour.

Each of MacNeil’s, or rather Archie’s, quotes, anecdotes or haikus appears alone on a page, adding poignancy by allowing the reader either to reflect on philosophy or appreciate a quip as each page is turned.

Read the rest of this story at The Student|Newspaper.    

Inf-llama-ble! Mythical 'Fire-Breathing' Alpaca Caught on Camera

Sputnik International 
By: Videoclub/Sputnik International
Photo: Courtesy RustyStars Alpacas/YouTube & Sputnik International

Original content from Sputnik International.  

Aron Shultz, the owner of Rusty Stars Alpaca Farm in Winterset, Iowa, US, captured the incredible sight of one of his animals exhaling what appears to be fire flames.

This mesmerizing footage of the alpaca named Cinnamon "breathing fire" has quickly spread across the internet, causing hundreds of netizens scratch their heads. While some people suspected the video might be faked, Mr. Shultz claims it hasn't been edited at all.

Many internet users admitted it took them some time to figure out this optical illusion. "So alpaca is direct descendant of a fire breathing dragon," one of the users suggested. "Dracarys! Or.. Alpacarys?" another person joked, referring to the Game of Thrones mythical creatures.

Read the rest of this story and watch the video at Sputnik International.

Alpaca farm expands into Granville apparel/yarn shop

Newark Advocate 
By: Craig McDonald
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Newark Advocate.  

For several years, Julie Judge has worked not just as a Realtor, but also has run “Road Runner Rascals Alpaca Ranch” in Licking County, recently relocated to a larger location at 1404 Johnstown Utica Road.

“I’ve shown my alpacas all over the country,” she said, “and I’ve seen some of the more successful farms also have stores right there on their farms.”

Judge said a woman who has an alpaca farm in Iowa “kind of took me under her wing… People kept saying to me, ‘You have to have a store.’”

Taking that advice to heart, in December of last year, Judge opened a new shop, Granville Alpaca Station Boutique and Yarn, at 425 S. Main Street in Granville, located at the rear of the historic depot station.

“We opened on Dec. 1,” she said, and did so with little fanfare, but Judge said she was pleasantly surprised by the strength of holiday traffic through the shop.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at Newark Advocate.

Ellyn Cooper's Hand-Dyed Yarns Are Pure Poetry

Hartford Courant 
By: Denise Coffey
Photo: By Denise Coffey
Photo Caption: Ellyn Cooper holds a basket of her hand-dyed skeins at Woolworks, Ltd. in Putnam.

Original content from Hartford Courant.   

The names of the yarns hand-dyed by Ellyn Cooper have elegant, poetic names: Luna, Moon Beam, Baroque Pearls, Mikado.

Their colors are gorgeous and one-of-a-kind. And because hand-dying yarn is labor intensive, more artistry than chemistry, she calls her business Ellyn Cooper's Yarn Sonnets.

"Fixing the dyes and creating the colors is its own kind of poetry," she said.

The Sprague resident has been dying yarn for nearly 17 years. It was a natural outgrowth of her artwork, which was primarily watercolor painting.

"The two are similar," Cooper said. "Both use water as a medium."

Over the years, she has built up a dedicated fan base. Knitters have come to appreciate the feel of Cooper's yarn, the heft and lightness of it, the textures and colors she creates. Mindy Hansen's favorite is the Kid Mohair, a lace weight yarn that leaves a delicate finish.

Cooper offers yarns by fiber and by weight. She works with animal based yarns, wool, alpaca, and mohair.

Read the rest of this story at Hartford Courant.